WISeKey has patented and is now pitching a new solution that can be used to verify the authenticity of luxury devices. The Swiss Intrinsiq Security for Watchmakers’ Brand Protection is geared primarily toward smartwatches, but could presumably be modified for other high end electronics.
In its announcement, WISeKey noted that counterfeiting is a major problem for luxury retailers, and that it is often difficult to distinguish the real thing from a high quality fake. That remains true even if manufacturers embed a security chip in a mechanical device, since experienced fraudsters can transfer that chip from a real product to a fake one (and vice versa).
To address that problem, WISeKey has come up with a product that is integral to the functioning of the watch itself. The offering is essentially a secure element that is embedded in a laser cut piece of silicon. The secure element powers the contactless and contact-based communication interfaces needed to verify the device, and can store a history of the item that tracks its (certified) progression from the manufacturer to various owners.
The system can also be used to store an NFT that functions as a “Watch Birth Certificate.” Each Certificate would be stamped with information like the company and the date of manufacture to create a root of trust over the course of the product lifetime. The solution itself takes advantage of cryptographic technology to outfit each device with secret keys that can be embedded in the secure element and verified with a separate authentication device.
WISeKey’s blockchain technology has already been introduced as a security feature in more than 2.5 million watches. The company has previously tried to make NFT technology more accessible to consumers through its WISe.ART platform, and introduced a WISeCoin solution that facilitates secure exchanges between IoT devices using blockchain tech.